Review: The Other Truth (TVB, 2011)


Cast: Ruco Chan, Tavia Yeung, Raymond Wong, Louis Yuen, Natalie Tong, Kenneth Ma, Chris Lai
Length: 25 episodes
Genre: Modern Legal/Drama
Producer: Amy Wong

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Official Synopsis By TVB

Does every verdict reveal the truth? Watch the court room drama unfold as a group of very individual attorneys are brought together in complex legal proceedings and each lawyer reveals their own story.

Barrister Keith Lau’s (Ruco Chan) ambition knows no limits. He will do everything he can in order to win a case, even if it means putting himself at risk.

His good friend Wallace Cheuk (Raymond Wong) runs a law firm. Although Wallace is a qualified barrister, he has no court experience, until Mavis Hong (Tavia Yeung) joins his firm. Thereafter, Wallace’s debut meets with loud acclaim.

Their good friend James Wai (Louis Yuen) is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who is financially dependent on his mother: but when a thorny case comes his way, it looks as if his luck has finally changed.

Characters and Performances

Ruco Chan – Splendid performance by this actor who has been in the industry for seventeen years. Clearly, he took this opportunity and delivered very well. The praises towards him were well-deserved.

However, I do believe that the role Keith was custom-tailored for him. Ruco strives at playing gray characters and Keith is an exemplary of that. Unlike his lawyer counterparts, Keith enjoys “stepping on the steel lines” to achieve what he believes is justice. He does not care about following the rules and because of this sense of rebelliousness, independent-thinking, and risk-taking his character is very attractive.

Many people may not have seen his performance in ATV’s Love in a Miracle, but he has been delivering acceptable performances back in 2004. While I don’t recommend the series for it’s tedious love story and continuous family struggles and period drama, I do recommend Ruco’s scenes. From what I’ve read, there were nothing but praises about his performance, and of course, compliments of him being a hot actor.

I like watching smart characters who possess independent-thinking, a rebellious nature, coupled with an adventurous spirit. I dislike characters who are smart, but completely righteous at heart. Sadly, righteous and sometimes timid male characters are the typical TVB leading roles today, making them boring people without an imaginative streak. Seriously, is this a competition to see which character is more pathetic? Lol.

Tavia Yeung – I did enjoy her bantering moments with Keith. Even though many people may not like Mavis and accused her of her smug character, Tavia still delivered well. However, after seeing her in The Rippling Blossom, I have came to the conclusion that she is a boring actress who portrays all characters the same. And the reason for this? She is TVB’s go-to artist for crying scenes. IMO, Tavia needs to be a more well-rounded actress to showcase some versatility.

Raymond Wong – Surprised that he was kicked back to secondary roles after his popularity last year. I suppose he has to make way for Ruco, who is TVB’s new investment this year. Although Raymond and Ruco both came from ATV, I prefer Ruco’s acting. (That is, even if he plays villains.) In the past, Raymond Wong has came across as handsome to me although I was never a fan of his acting skills. It’s a fact that he’s a hardworking artist, but whether his acting skills are likable and appealing is entirely subjective.

He gave a good performance, but nothing spectacular. The only thing I’m still curious is: why does he always look so tired? It seems like he has lost his handsome face too. Boohoo.

Louis Yuen – He plays an entirely different character in here. In the past, he was always the big-headed, useless, and lazy family uncle. He is just the opposite here: modest, hardworking, and aspiring. With his very mediocre looks, he isn’t as successful as Keith or Wallace because he lacks the professional packaging.

However, regardless of what role he plays, the fact is I don’t like Louis as an actor much. He fares better in comedies than in dramas. On the other hand, can I add that I enjoyed watching the actress who played his mother? She was brilliant during the jury trial of Aimee’s raping case.

Natalie Tong – Despite reaching her thirties, Natalie still comes across as a little girl due to her petite figure. I don’t think age, hair, or her role can change that. Instead of playing the usual little sister here, she actually has a little brother whose still in university. Believable much?

Because of Natalie’s lack of figure, I don’t find her convincing as a professional lawyer. Of course, lawyers should be judged by their intelligence and competence and not superficial beauty, but at the end, Natalie looks unfit in her work attires. Just look at how smooth and natural Tavia’s sexy black dresses look on her.

That said, Natalie is no leading material unless she can speak properly. I suppose I don’t mind seeing her every now and then, but I’ve learned that her acting skills will never grow on me. Her characters, maybe yes. But acting, no.

Kenneth Ma – Although not a regular cast member here, his character, Alex, generated much discussion amongst netizens. Let’s just say that he should just stick with those boring, but nice and righteous leading roles. His portrayal of a villain isn’t bad, but in his confrontation scene with Ruco, I sense that he was the innocent victim. Is that suppose to imply something? Kenneth has yet to prove his versatility, which makes me think that he’s a good supporting actor, but leading? Only TVB would invest in him because they are running out of A-list actors.

Memorable Scenes

  • The jury trial. I didn’t expect TVB to present Aimee’s raping case the way they did, but this is definitely a fresh perspective! I was at the edge of my seats watching these episodes!
  • Keith and Mavis’s bickering moments and their war of words.
  • Wallace pursuing Mavis and when he fails, he complains to Keith that he doesn’t even like her that much, lol.
  • Kenneth and Natalie’s sweet moments. I’m going to admit that I was swooned by Kenneth’s puppy eyes when he played the piano for Natalie.
  • Mavis, Keith, Wallace, and James sitting at the restaurant and Mavis told the two guys not to fight for her. She didn’t know and didn’t want to choose between her two friends. They both agreed out of respect for Mavis, but when she turned away to go to the washroom, Keith and Wallace fought for the cheesecake.

Overall

This is a watchable series with some very enjoyable moments, but there are definitely many flaws. I suppose TVB initially wanted Kenneth to play another one of Tavia’s pursuers, but due to her deteriorating health at the time, the script was altered to accommodate the filming schedule. Thus, more screen time was given to Natalie. Honestly, I oppose TVB’s ways of generating series. It’s like an assembly-line production of throwing things together more than a work of art.

Also, the case between Leanne, Helen, and Rosanne was stretched too far and the constant yelling and unnecessary jealousy was very annoying.

  • Lol, I didn’t find Louis endearing (but his performance was decent enough), but the concept of the character was. After all, not everybody is born with potential and good looks, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t strive to prove to others that they can still make something of themselves. 🙂 I don’t think much of Louis since I only watched him in MR, not HOG, and I didn’t know who he and most of the actors were when I first watched it anyway.

    I know you aren’t, so I was surprised when you were here. 😉 Lol, do you mean Kenneth has cute puppy eyes? I noticed them a long time ago, they’re indeed adorable.

    • Jue

      Lol, yes. Eyes, not actors! And you get a new icon because you got a new laptop!

  • Man Jue, you’re on a roll with all these posts! You’ve written two reviews while I haven’t even managed to write one.

    What do you think about a sequel for “The Other Truth”? If there is one, do you think it should be direct or in-direct? Honestly, I don’t care much for a sequel and the only reason why I’d like one is to see Ruco, Tavia, and Raymond W. collaborate again. Mostly Ruco, heh. I’d like a direct sequel to watch Ruco as Keith again, but at the same time I want a indirect sequel so Tavia and Raymond W. can get more interesting characters.

    Although I was annoyed with how much screen time Louis had in the beginning, in general I thought it was endearing to watch someone who wasn’t blessed with good looks or professionalism strive to prove everyone that can be a good lawyer. 🙂

    Apparently, Tavia was sick for a while during filming of TOT so her screen time was cut. I wonder if Mavis would’ve been more developed had it not been for this.

    Funny you mentioned that you couldn’t help but swoon when Kenneth played the piano. Maybe it’s because my parents tell me I shouldn’t be “swooned” so easily by guys, or the fact that I play piano. I couldn’t help but laugh at Kenneth’s face and his fingers’ bad attempt at fake playing the whole time. 😛

    • Jue

      I don’t really want a sequel to “The Other Truth”, TBH. I think when things are good, TVB should just leave it at that and come up with better scripts. And btw, didn’t like TOT as much as I wish I did. Some of the cases were too loud and quite predictable. I also want to mention that TOT is one of the series this year that they can have a direct sequel and there can still be more development because the leads didn’t end up together. Other the other hand, too much has happened in GJ for a direct sequel.

      Surprised that some people actually liked Louis’s endearing character, lol. Me? It’s a little too late to save his image as someone whose not the lazy and arrogant family uncle.

      Lol, don’t think I’m easily swooned by guys. It was just a special case here. I think it’s because I didn’t expect Kenneth to have such cute puppy actors. He has always been a fine actor, but I never idoled him.